Embracing marketing and advertising technologies to support brands, Four Drunk Parrots provide strategic, ethical marketing solutions. We spoke with CEO Sonja Ceri to hear more about their journey to becoming a B Corp.
Tell us a bit about what 4 Drunk Parrots does.
Four Drunk Parrots is a MarTech — or 'marketing technology' — company putting purpose before profit to help businesses (and the planet) thrive. Marketing has become incredibly technical, and this is where we come in. We solve tech problems for marketers and market companies through cutting-edge technologies. Based in Ballina and Darwin, we are proudly local while working virtually with brands from interstate and across the world.
Why did you want to become a B Corp?
Our company started with the wish to be better than the other marketing sharks out there. With the wish to stand out by doing the right thing for others but also for the planet, our communities and our people. This drive is now something much bigger. It’s become a mission. A movement. Our soul. Caring is no longer enough. We have to act now and be generous with our time, with our money, and our actions. That’s why we are committed to the work of building a more inclusive company and being a force for social and environmental good. Together, we can make a difference.
What makes Four Drunk Parrots unique as a business, and how are you making an impact?
We have built a business model around enabling other organisations to do social good. We are not front-line workers, emergency vets, or product developers that can save the world. We are a flock of techies, strategists, and designers who want to make sure those that aim to do good have everything they need to do so, both digitally and in to the real world.
We give up 5% of our collective time here at 4DP to work for free with those who can’t afford us. We are all about enabling grassroots organisations, First Nations startups, and people with great ideas to thrive. We are pioneering sustainability as a small business in regional Australia.
We want to show that everyone can help by doing their bit if this is something they want to do. And honestly, there are many reasons why you should want to do so.
So we are promoting both: to take action against climate change now and how to go about it. For example, we are the first and only company in the Northern Rivers and one of few globally, to be Climate Neutral Certified. Climate Neutral Certification works to decrease global carbon emissions by getting businesses to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit.
As for all B Corps, giving back is important to us, to the environment, and to those who have the skills and expertise to look after it. As a member of 1% For the Planet, we dedicate one percent of revenues to vetted environmental nonprofits and let them go on with their work. If there are any environmental organisations in need of an extra pair of hands, we are here to help.
On a local level, we are literally sweeping up in front of our own doors by removing 100 bags of rubbish by hand this year from our immediate local environment (the Richmond River, known as Maamang in the local language, foreshore and Ballina Marina).
B Corps want to help transform our economy to one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative. What business practice do you want to see become the norm?
When I try to explain how the world works to my children and they ask me why things are as they are, I am embarrassed to admit that greed is a main human driver, maybe even the most driving force in our modern society. Greed as an extreme or excessive desire for resources, great personal wealth and personal gains. It fuels a multitude of things such as the need for power and unhealthy relationships to ourselves and others, our bodies and our minds, our time allocations and satisfaction levels.
If there is one thing that I would like to change it is to demonstrate that Milton Friedman’s shareholder theory is shit. Shit for the world, for our communities and for our people. Friedman encouraged corporate greed by asserting that business has no responsibility to society other than to make as much money as possible. B Corp puts this model on its head. And that makes more sense to me and to my kids.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” - M. K. Gandhi
Was there a B Corp that inspired you to certify, or one that you look to for inspiration?
Patagonia — we looooove their advertising.
The Taboo Group — super sexy website, our founder literally has a crush on them.
We are Harvey — they put the bar high when it comes to scoring at the BIA - definitely an inspiration.
Allbirds — a great mix of innovation and fashion.
T2 — cause we have gone through all the teas under the sun and theirs are just amazing.
Makeena — in the US, but very inspiring to create an eco-conscious marketplace.
GoodTel — wow, there is an alternative telco that is B Corp?
Australian Ethical — Fantastic!
Bank Australia — Essential!
Do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?
Start small. Have a look in the mirror and see where you are doing well and where you think you need to improve. The BIA is a good place to start. Then break your goal down into smaller chunks, such as measuring your carbon footprint and then becoming carbon neutral. Or work on your give-back strategy and join Pledge 1% of 1% For The Planet.
If that aim is too high, then look at making your workforce climate positive with Ecologi or the Eden Reforestation Program. Or simply offset your office purchases with Reforest or similar carbon offset apps. At the core of this all is measuring. What gets measured gets done and can be improved. And if all of that is in the too hard basket, well, then hire a B Consultant who can project manage this for you.